Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 20

June 12, 2008

I'm bipolar when it comes to dubstep. I either hate it with an intense passion—the hangers on, the now predictably silly basslines, the new flock of talentless MCs—or love it and become totally obsessed with it. One producer who often brings out the positive side of my disorder is Bristol's Joker. His track "Gully Brook Lane", forthcoming on Terrorhythm, is one of the most uniquely brilliant tracks to have come out of the UK in a long time. Check Joker's latest release on Soul Motive Records below. Bun B is reportedly into this beat—how amazing would it be if he vocalled it?

Joker, "Snake Eater"

I first saw Joker at his debut at dubstep night FWD>> last year. He's back in London once again next month to play at the launch party for Blackdown & Dusk's debut album, Margins Music, which by truly amazing coincidence, I received in the post yesterday. Previous dubstep albums by people like Benga and Burial have been ridiculously well received but I found them hard to get into. I always thought Burial's music was a bit forced and his drum programming too awkward to enjoy, and Benga seemed as if he was trying too hard to make a diverse album. Margins Music works much better as an album than any previous dubstep release has, though. It reminds me of a lot of early dubstep music, where you were much more likely to hear a classic desi sample than an annoying snippet from the film Snatch. There's quite a strong grime influence on the LP too. It contains lots of looped samples of people like Roll Deep's Target and Wiley talking on pirate radio. Surprisingly, I find the full vocal tracks with grime MCs Trim and Durrty Goodz least enjoyable. Maybe the production is stripped down so much for the MC that something is lost. For me, the highlights lie more in tracks such as the looped and spliced bhangra of "Rolling Raj Deep" (named after a video and music shop in South-West London) or the detroit techno and dubstep hybrid of "Focus".

Moving on, pint sized MC Tinchy Stryder has just put out a video for his new single "Stryderman". The whole electro grime thing is pretty tired right now (although Stryder claims to have made this track last year), but there's something about this song that is undeniable. You may be interested to hear that Tinchy recently started blogging. He seems to follow a strict regime of posting about garish watches, football, US hip hop and, of course, himself, but it's still weirdly entertaining.

Finally, have a listen to this recent set with Jammer and Mumdance recorded at Spring Festival in Graz, Austria. Apparently, after the set the pair went to a club where a baile funk DJ was playing to about 2000 people, and Jammer decided to jump on stage and rewind the record that was on the deck before badly attempting to do some really poor scratching. Somehow he managed not to get himself thrown out and ended up going on the mic for a bit. While I'm here I might as well post up a Santogold remix Mumdance did for a new Diplo mixtape, which will be out as a free download soon. Look out for it.

Santogold, "Creator" (Mumdance remix feat Jammer, Badness, Chronik, Rage, Slickman and Tempa T)

Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 20